Dec 30, 2020

The Game of the Rose, or Umberto Hears an Eco

Fifty-plus years later reflections (a very slow mirror)

By Ed Goldman

In the 18 years I lived in Southern California, the Rose Bowl game in Pasadena (now relocated) and the parade that preceded it (canceled this year) loomed large every New Year’s Day. For me, each became a rite of passage.

I attended only one game, with my brother Stuart, when I was about 14 and he was 18. I have absolutely no idea who played. We were there, Stu told me, to help tear down the then-wooden goal post at the conclusion and try to leave with a piece of it as a keepsake. 

Edgy Cartoon

A little early for the game

In the last quarter of the game, we pushed our way through now-standing spectators to get as close to the field as possible. Since the goalpost tear-down was even more a part of the Rose Bowl’s lore than the game, none of the security guards made any real attempts to organize or hold us back. And sure enough, once the game ended and the opposing teams had stopped leaping into each other arms or making clenched-teeth death threats (depending on if they’d won or lost), about 150 of us, mainly male and youngish, stormed both goalposts, yanking them out of the ground then breaking off slabs or chunks as mementos. 

Six guys wrested Stu’s piece from his grasp. But for some reason, I was able to hang onto my splintered relic, despite being drawn into a four-way fistfight over looting rights (there is no honor among goalpost thieves). I’ll confess that I had an advantage: a few “moves,” owing to my being a boxing fan (and later spending a couple of summers sparring, which proved that fandom doesn’t always graduate to ability). But what won the day was my love of old western movies, from which I picked up a few dirty-fighting techniques by watching saloon brawls, a staple of the genre.

Three years later, I was going steady with Kim Hyland, my high school/early college girlfriend (whom I began re-courting in September 2019, if you’re journaling, though we seem to have decided there may have been a solid reason behind our not dating each other for half a century. I guess she wasn’t just trying to make me jealous). 

We decided somewhat spontaneously, which is how you do things when you’re 17, to drive up to Pasadena on New Year’s Eve and join the thousands of people camped out on Colorado Boulevard waiting for the parade to start at 8 a.m. We’d brought blankets, hats, scarfs, beach chairs and a thermos of hot chocolate and spent the hours waiting for the parade to start by snuggling, laughing and haphazardly napping next to and atop each other—the latter in the manner of puppies (please keep your journaling appropriate for a family audience).

By 8 a.m. we were semi-comatose, the morning had grown oppressively sunny and each wanted to ask the other the most important question in a romantic relationship: “Can we leave now?” On the drive home, Kim fell sweetly asleep on my shoulder. I still don’t know who won the Rose Bowl game that day but I won the parade.

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Ed Goldman's column appears almost every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. A former daily columnist for the Sacramento Business Journal, as well as monthly columnist for Sacramento Magazine and Comstock’s Business Magazine, he’s the author of five books, two plays and one musical (so far).

Yes, Virginia

A Weekly Blog by Virginia Varela

President and CEO, Golden Pacific Bank

photo by Phoebe Verkouw

If you’ve been waiting for clear instructions about the new round of  the federal Payroll Protection Program, please take a number. Some of us community bankers are feeling as confused this time as we did the first time.

In the CARES Act.1.0 last spring, large banks whose past performances had caused regulators to put caps on their lending capacity found themselves having to turn away customers both big and small. Some banks tried to help only their existing clientele and still fell short. Then the authorities sort of apologized, lifted the cap it had placed on us and gave us the go-signal to do the loans. But by then, the fund was drying up, resulting in damage to longtime bank/client relationships as well as the public image of banks.

Through the PPP, an allocated $4.89 million in forgivable loans were made, totaling more than $521 billion. Community banks made 28% of the loans, or $148 billion. Golden Pacific Bank ended up funding a record number of PPP loans to small businesses in the first go-round. We’d like to continue to offer PPP. But let’s find out more details before we march to the front of the line and say, “We’re next!”   

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